Key takeaways from Autodesk University 2023

Autodesk's annual conference returned to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2023 and focused on their Design and Make Platform, which connects people, processes and data. Over three days, nearly 15,000 attendees learned how to adapt to change and drive transformation, increase sustainability and harness the power of data and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve quality and drive predictability. The conference also featured an expansive exhibit hall with 127 participating vendors and service providers.

Skanska was represented by 26 attendees across the globe who had the chance to network with each other and industry leaders. Three of our employees led sessions at AU 2023:  

  • Preconstruction Technology Manager Edwin Bailey, Project Engineer Siddhant Mehta, and Stockholm Head of Construction and Engineering IT-Solutions Linn Areno. 
  • Preconstruction Technology Manager Edwin Bailey led attendees through a technical review of Autodesk Takeoff to demonstrate how to increase efficiency throughout the preconstruction process. 
  • Project Engineer Siddhant Mehta discussed his journey into the industry and offered considerate input and advice to other young professionals. 
  • Head of Construction and Engineering IT Solutions for Linn Areno highlighted change management and learnings from their three-day focused Construction Cloud Power Pilot. 

Here are several key takeaways from their sessions and how Skanska is shaping the future of construction through the Autodesk Design and Make Platform

Increase Your Estimating Productivity by 25 Percent with Autodesk Takeoff 

Edwin Bailey co-presented with Autodesk Preconstruction Product Specialist Joe Gaither on how to realize a 25 percent increase in estimating productivity using Autodesk Takeoff.  

With rising material costs and razor-thin margins, construction takeoff—including accurate material quantification and cost estimates—is essential to starting and executing jobs on budget and on time. Autodesk Takeoff, with centralized 2D and 3D takeoffs, allows estimating teams to update quantities in real-time, using the most current design files. By connecting existing building information model (BIM) data, Autodesk Takeoff can reduce takeoff and estimating times by at least 25 percent, minimize the risk of missed quantities and guarantee accurate data capture. 

In this technical instruction, Edwin showcased the specific workflows, techniques and best practices for using Autodesk Takeoff and included real-world examples from Skanska's Class A office building project, Montrose, in Houston, Texas. 

A Blueprint to Kick-Start Your Career in the Construction Industry 

In his Autodesk debut, Sid Mehta joined panelists Tamoghna Ghosh of DPR and Megan Stanley of GHD to offer a blueprint to young professionals wanting to break into the construction industry. 

Starting anything new can feel overwhelming, let alone entering a new workforce and learning an entire industry from scratch. In his speaker submission, Sid posed meaningful questions like:  

“As a project manager, do you wonder how to bring together a culturally diverse team and create a success story? As an international student, have you ever wondered how to navigate your academic journey and transition into a young professional in the United States?”  

In this impactful conversation, a panel of young professionals shared their stories and offered insights into the challenges they faced while transitioning from academics to the ground reality of job sites, while also dealing with language barriers, cultural differences and work permit issues. The panelists also provided a template for using academic and professional skills to advance in the industry. 

Autodesk Construction Cloud Power Pilot the Skanska Sweden Way 

Stockholm-based Linn Areno highlighted change management and learnings during the transition from BIM 360 to Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC).  

Previous software transitions from Classic to Next Gen tools went poorly due to low trust. Plus, the average 18-month-long construction lifecycle on our Sweden projects proved too long for proper evaluation. To combat this, Linn and her team conducted a three-day focused Construction Cloud Power Pilot to learn how to better roll out new tools. 

The pilot involved 25 participants across projects and support roles and used data from old projects to simulate possible use cases. Linn and her team collected feedback on current workflows and brought in members of the Autodesk team to answer questions about the new platform. 

By mirroring existing project team structures and walking through workflows with the new tool, the pilot provided valuable information for the team to use in a broader rollout of the new ACC platform.